There's something captivating about seeing raw materials – such as coffee beans, grain, milk and clay – transformed into beautiful, useful and delicious products. Feed your curiosity with a behind-the-scenes look at how some of your favorite things are made during tours at factories, farms, shops and studios across the Show-Me State.
The Roasterie, Kansas City: It's easy to spot The Roasterie's Factory Cafe in Kansas City – just look for the building with the plane perched on top. Owner Danny O'Neill picked his first batch of coffee beans while studying abroad in Costa Rica. Fifteen years later, he founded his direct-trade coffee company in his basement. Tour the factory to learn how the company air roasts its beans to ensure a superior product.
Askinosie Chocolate, Springfield: Owner Shawn Askinosie left his career as a defense attorney to create awarding-winning chocolate from cocoa beans sourced directly from small farmers. Find out how and why the company makes bean-to-bar chocolate using direct-trade practices. Learn about Chocolate University, which takes local students from the inner workings of the factory to cocoa bean farms around the world, providing hands-on global business experience.
Budweiser Brewery Experience, St. Louis: Take a "seed to sip" tour at this St. Louis landmark for an up-close look at how iconic Budweiser Beer is brewed and packaged. Visit the brew house, lager cellar and Clydesdale stable. Stop by the Beer Museum where the company's long and storied history as one of the largest and oldest breweries in the nation comes to life.
Shatto Milk Company, Osborn: Meet some of Missouri's friendliest cows, see how a dairy operates and visit the milk bottling facility. The country store sells cheese, butter, ice cream and milk, which comes in a variety of flavors – cookies and cream, cotton candy, coffee, root beer and more.
J. Reiger & Co., Kansas City: Tour the 60,000-square-foot distillery located in the historic Electric Park neighborhood to learn how a variety of spirits are made. Exhibits tell how the company, founded in 1887, reopened in 2019 – nearly 100 years after shutting its doors during the dawn of Prohibition. Just for fun – take a ride on a two-story slide down through the center of the 19th century building.
Third Degree Glass Factory, St. Louis: Part tour, part celebration of creativity, Third Fridays at the factory feature glass blowing demonstrations, "fire spinning," live music and more on the third Friday of every month. Shop for art glass pieces, including vases, bowls and beads, in their gallery.
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Written by Liz Coleman